Vancouver Then and Now: Gastown (PHOTOS)

Dec 19 2017, 1:38 pm

The Vancouver Archives is full of gems, giving us a look at what Vancouver was like centuries ago. But what if we wanted to know what an exact location today looked like 100 years ago? That’s what Vancouver’s Andrew Farris set out to achieve.

After getting the idea for a Then and Now photo series when he travelled to Nagasaki, Japan and realized the series made experiencing the history of the atomic bombing much more real, Farris wanted to capture more cities and show the change from then to now.

“I started making the website out of a love of history and to give myself something to do while backpacking around the world,” Farris told Vancity Buzz.

“The photos themselves are actually really easy to shoot,” Farris said, who shot all pictures for his five-part Vancouver series in the Fall and Winter of 2014. “Most of the time is spent on archival research and the web design.”

What’s next? “Now that I’ve done Vancouver and Victoria, I’m going to Europe to write and do photo essays. I’m putting together a huge Then and Now series for London right now.”

Each day this week, we’ll be featuring one part of Farris’ Vancouver Then and Now series. To see more of Farris’ work, visit his blog at

The intersection of Water, Carrall and Richards

An arch over Water Street reads “Welcome to our visitors”

A horse-drawn cart turns from Abbott onto Water Street

Looking east down Hastings from Homer

Maple Tree Square, the heart of Gastown

Water and Abbott, looking towards Richards

Looking west on Cordova, weeks after the Great Fire of Vancouver

Georgia Street at night

Homer and Pender after WWI

A fire crew on Water Street battles a blaze

West Hastings from Homer

Then photos courtesy of Vancouver Archives
Now photos courtesy of Andrew Farris / On This Spot

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